Breakfast Bytes

Building an online platform to engage with teenage parents: challenges and successes

Date

Tuesday 19th January 2021, 9.30-11.00 CET

Speaker

Silvija Stanić, psychologist, psychotherapist, child rights specialist. Parents Association Step by Step, Croatia

Working language

English

Description

Teenage pregnancies are mostly unplanned and associated with a number of risk factors such as early sexual initiation, accidental sexual contact, changing sexual partners, and inconsistent use of protection. According to data for 2019, Croatia records a rate of 8.7 / 1000 girls aged 15 to 19, which corresponds to the European Union average (8.9 / 1000) (World Bank, 2019). Teenage pregnancies and parenting are also associated with numerous health and social risks, both for teenage parents and for their children. Pregnancy and childbirth abruptly change the normal lives of teenagers, confronting them with a range of problems, from rejection in the family, dropping out of school, leaving a partner, to difficulty adjusting and accepting their new life role – the role of parents.

Through different activities, Parents Association Step by Step is preventing risky sexual behavior among young people, providing psychosocial assistance, and supporting teenage pregnant girls, parents and their families. Information, education and counseling seek to reduce the vulnerability of teenage pregnant women and parents, and empower them to take an active and responsible parental role.

The online platform MALOLJETNI-RODITELJI.NET is the first and only platform in the Republic of Croatia intended for teenage parents and young people at risk, which brings informative and educational interactive content and provides free online counseling by psychologists, social workers, lawyers and a gynecologist. This platform is highly visited by young people at risk who face doubts and fears of unwanted pregnancy, and teenage parents who face the challenges of growing up and early parenthood.

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